In the case of an emergency, we’re all taught to dial 911. We all assume that the police, firemen, or EMTs will be able to help us. But what if you have a rare disease like ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and no one knows what it is?
In this informative video, Spondylitis.org aims to educate EMTs and other first responders about what exactly AS is. More than that, it’s a start in how they should respond to a person with AS differently than they would normally.
The video makes no secret that the standard protocol that first responders follow, which works perfectly fine with someone who is otherwise healthy, can be potentially disastrous for someone with AS.
And who better to share that information than a fellow fireman and EMT who is living with ankylosing spondylitis himself.
As he explains, AS can cause the bones in the spine to fuse together, making them brittle and more prone to fractures and breaks.
If an EMT happens upon someone who has fallen, is stuck, or needs to be carried, this is important information to know!
Consider, the person has probably undergone some sort of physical trauma. And then you’re adding a rare disease on top of it!
But one thing that really stood out to me in the video is that the patient in the demonstration was wearing a medical alert bracelet. It seems kind of obvious: If you need people in an emergency to know that you have an invisible illness, you need some way of telling them.
A first responder is coming onto a scene with little information and needs to figure out the severity of the situation in a short amount of time.
What better way to let them know about your condition than with your medical alert bracelet–especially if you’re in a situation where you’re unconscious or unable to speak.
While I don’t wear a medical alert bracelet, this video made me seriously consider the idea of getting one. As they say, better be safe than sorry.